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Interview The Outer Worlds Feature at Game Informer: Community Interview with Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Tags: Leonard Boyarsky; Obsidian Entertainment; The Outer Worlds; Tim Cain

    In a special episode of their podcast, yesterday Game Informer published their concluding interview with Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky about The Outer Worlds. The interview was a massive 70 minutes long and featured dozens of questions solicited from the community over the past half-week. Rather than attempt to summarize all of it, I figured I'd share my two main takeaways from the interview. First of all, the game is an advanced stage of development - more-or-less content-complete and playable from start to finish. Tim and Leonard have moved on to tasks such as polishing the user interface and overseeing voice-over production. I don't know if the August release date that was accidentally leaked by Steam last week is accurate, but the game is definitely coming out this year, and maybe sooner than you think.

    That brings us to my second takeaway, which is that Tim and Leonard have had to make some tough choices to meet that release window. Over the course of the interview, they speak several times of features and content that they were forced to cut, ranging from unarmed combat to background-based choice & consequence to a questline involving corporate intrigue. The game has a day-night cycle, but no NPC schedules. Modding weapons is in, but crafting them from scratch is out (although that's actually good). Beyond that, there are the expected sacrifices to the gods of the mass market, most notably the fact that the game has not been designed with disabled quest markers in mind (and in fact, there currently is no option to disable them, although Tim and Leonard promise they'll look into that). For better or worse, it's an extraordinarily honest interview, and I recommend listening if you have the time:


    So that's the end of Game Informer's month-long Outer Worlds bonanza. We won't have to wait long to see the game again though, because Tim and Leonard are giving a talk about it at PAX East in a few weeks, on March 30th.
     
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  2. Grotesque ±¼ Patron

    Grotesque
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    Divinity: Original Sin Divinity: Original Sin 2
    you never learn

    now all comments will be how you're a shill for Tim and Leonard, Timnard how the cool kids say
     
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  3. Zakhad Savant

    Zakhad
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    Yeah, there's a real lack of hyping it up. It's a really interesting way of presenting it, like they seem pretty confident but also say they don't know how it will turn out. If they said that in a nervous way I'd think they were softening us up for disappointment, but the confidence makes it seem like they're genuinely just unsure how people will receive it. It's a nice change from the way a lot of developers talk up their game pre-launch. Really hope the game is good and does well.
     
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  4. Trashos Magister

    Trashos
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    Your writeup is fine, except for...

    No, it is not good that we can't craft weapons from scratch. I mean, I understand that they don't have the resources to do it, but I can't call it "good".
     
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  5. sorinmask Learned Patron

    sorinmask
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    I was going to be very miffed at the idea of no unarmed combat, but then I saw the glazed looks in their eyes when they commented "it had to be cut". They felt/feel sad they could not put that in.

    It's nice to see developers actually not cocky, but grounded, realistic and presenting you with how it rolled: we didn't have the money/time, and it had to be cut - rather than bullshit you, and then you find out it's not in. Or outright lie, and patch it later - at best.

    My eyebrow is raised. I am interested. I hope this turns out to be good.
     
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  6. thesheeep Arcane

    thesheeep
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    The less crafting in a (not crafting focused) game, the better the game.
    We all know it would have devolved into Oblivion, etc. style of "collect all the junk then click a button at a workbench"... and not something proper like "learn about the item, gather the pieces of the artifact and the blueprint, then bring them to an actual artisan to forge the weapon. Return in X days to collect the weapon.".
     
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  7. CyberWhale Arcane

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    I see the front page has again turned into Obisidan News. :/
     
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  8. Jedi Exile Arcane Patron

    Jedi Exile
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    Project: Eternity Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    Lots of cut content in an Obsidian game, what a surprise.
     
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  9. Trashos Magister

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    Wow, what a negative response my previous post got. Didn't know that crafting had become so uncool around here.

    No, I do not know that. Arcanum's crafting was great, and Underrail's crafting (which was based on Arcanum's, but expanded) is even greater. If we assume that they are going to do a bad job on it, then by all means cut it. But that is not a premise I like to start with.

    In terms of compatibility with the setting: TOW are ruled by corporations, and as far as I understand the weapons available are all made by them. It would be easy to imagine a rebellious crafty dude who refuses to use the corporation's weapons and makes his own instead. Also, crafting does not have to be mandatory.
     
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  10. thesheeep Arcane

    thesheeep
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    Arcanum's crafting was okay, as is Underrail's. And those are the RPGs with the best crafting systems (D:OS was fine as well, at least when it came to stuff like potions). I would not call any crafting in any game (not mainly revolving around crafting) great, ever.
    The reason is simple: Real crafting takes time and skill, and everyone knows that. That you can just collect some items, click a button and voilá, there's your greatsword +7 of infernal pokiness because you "found a blueprint"... it just doesn't make sense.
    You're playing adventurers in these games, not blacksmiths or engineers who had their whole life to learn the craft, and even if it wasn't so, crafting is just WAY too fast in these games. While a realistic crafting speed wouldn't be fun to play at all.
    That's why the best crafting in games is that which is not done by the player, but by NPCs which can believably pull it off, because they take their time.

    Add to that the problem of gear power. Crafting is either mandatory as you can craft much more powerful stuff yourself than you'd ever find or would be too expensive to buy (see Expeditions: Vikings), or you can't and then it becomes entirely pointless.

    That's why crafting is "uncool around here". Because most people realized by now that it sucks in almost all RPGs. And that most people trying to pull off a crafting system will, at best, create something that is meh. Thus manpower that isn't invested into crafting, and instead into something else that actually benefits the game, is a good thing. Therefore, the less crafting in a game, the better the game.

    The only usually acceptable form is gear modification, because that usually holds gear power in check and is also way more believable, especially in scifi settings (though it can be pulled off in fantasy as well, enchantments etc.).
    Or the crafting of small items like special arrows, potions, etc. Things that neither blow up the balance, nor would be completely unrealistic.
     
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  11. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

    FeelTheRads
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    Crafting is a way to pad the game length with repetitive, time consuming tasks, similar to trash fights.
    If there was no crafting ever used again in games nothing of value would be lost.
     
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  12. Paul_cz Arcane

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    Leon and Tim are not guys to fakely hype things up. I just can't even imagine them doing that.
     
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  13. Trashos Magister

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    It is a role playing game. I may be role playing an engineer/weaponsmith/craftsman. Which is actually what I like to role play in Sci Fi games.

    Well, have crafting as a skill that can be invested into then. That's what Underrail did.

    I don't care much about the time factor, I don't think that RPGs should care about time discrepancies at all. But if you care about such things, there are ways around it (eg, have time pass when the player crafts something major).

    Or crafting can have trade offs. In Underrail, you can build great stuff with crafting, but it is a major skill investment, and consequently you miss out on other good skills. I agree that crafting should not be mandatory, and it doesn't have to be.
     
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  14. Trashos Magister

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    We are talking about a game that has eating/drinknig/sleeping and respawning enemies...
     
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  15. Jedi Master Radek Arcane

    Jedi Master Radek
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    60 fps camera. Disgusting.
     
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  16. thesheeep Arcane

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    In a game that would allow you to actually roleplay a real craftsman of some kind, with all that entails, that would be fine.
    I could imagine a proper craftsman RPG fairly well, guess it would be a bit more on the trading side, too. Take something like Unreal World, for example.
    But those are different kinds of games.
    In such a game, you wouldn't and shouldn't be able to also be a truly proficient warrior, mage, etc.

    But this game is very obviously focused around combat, as most RPGs are.
    In that context, playing just a craftsman simply doesn't make sense. It would be like playing a store clerk or a teacher.

    In a combat focused game, trading is always just a tacked on afterthought, because nothing else would make sense anyway, as the player char just isn't a craftsman and the game just isn't about crafting.
    That's why in the best of cases, like Arcanum and Underrail, crafting works skill-wise (and balancing wise), but still doesn't when you actually stop to think about it.

    Eating, drinking and sleeping make sense in the context. It's just a way to increase the survival aspect of a game as well as its realism. It is done with a clear purpose and doesn't just pad out game length.
    Respawning enemies... CAN make sense, heavily depends. Usually, it makes little sense, though, that is right. And it really does serve mostly to pad the game length, which is a bad thing. Still no excuse to add another feature that would do the same.

    In a game like this, an adventurer being able to craft like an expert with no lifelong training in the blink of an eye does not make sense at all. It doesn't increase realism, it decreases it. It actively harms the coherence of the setting. It doesn't add a survival aspect, either. Usually, all it does is create a meta in which it becomes either mandatory or worthless. Only in the very best cases, it creates a skill-wise tradeoff where the player has to sacrifice something in order to get better gear - and that tradeoff is actually worthwhile. And then it still has to be in a way that's not just boring busywork.
    Simply not worth the headache, which is no doubt why it was cut and other things were kept.
     
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  17. Diggfinger Arbiter

    Diggfinger
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    Cool! Countdown started to March 30th...
     
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  18. Fenix Cipher Vatnik

    Fenix
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    Agree, but there can be rally cool crafting, like in Evil Islands, where you cancraft spells and craft equipment with spells inside - it can bring amazing rezults if you smart enough.
     
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  19. cherry blossom Arcane

    cherry blossom
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    Could anyone summarize the interesting things about this game in 3-5 sentences? It just sounds to me like the worst things about F:NV put together for some odd reason, so I've lost interest pretty quickly but I am not sure if my impression is on the money.
     
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  20. Sordid MCA/Prosper Hybryd Arcane Patron

    Sordid MCA/Prosper Hybryd
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    It is not an open-world game. It has a "unique" vibe, which feels like Borderlands rip-off. It is set in the alterernative universe, in which McKinley was not assassinated in 1901, so old-school capitalists were able to preserve their influence on society with the result that people now have to live in a horrible world controlled not by crazy leftards but by evil corporations. In addition to the three classic BlackIsle/Troika gameplay archetypes (warrior/thief/talker) there will be a new one in the OW - a leader (basically you recieve boosts to your skills from your companions, not sure how it can pass for a truly new archetype). The game, reportedly, is quite modest in its scope, hence, hopefully, does not suffer from feature creep.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
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  21. ciox Learned

    ciox
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    I like the concept, but it kinda irks me that they refer to that archetype as a 'leader', if you were a leader you would pass on YOUR skills and initiative to the others, not the other way around. What you are is someone like TNO, someone who is a jack of all trades and can have others fill in the blanks so he can perform a role at a high level, not exactly a classical leader.
    Scholar and Eagle Eye skills from HMM3 also come to mind.
     
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  22. Sordid MCA/Prosper Hybryd Arcane Patron

    Sordid MCA/Prosper Hybryd
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    Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I think that the real fourth archetype is a scientist/inventor. The idea is that you are to be able to solve quests by using scientific knowledge and inventing different contraptions. This archetype is greatly realised in Arcanum and was also supposed to be available in Van Buren.

    I wish they would do something like that in the OW. But I guess it is not possible for money/time reasons.
     
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